How to Heat a Hobby Greenhouse for Free in 3 Easy Ways

If you use a greenhouse and you live in cooler areas, you probably want to know how to heat a hobby greenhouse for free. The easiest and cheapest way to heating your greenhouse is to maximize sunlight. After all, it’s free and it’s effective.

However, there are times when the weather is cloudy or rainy. Plus, the amount of sunlight you get during the winter season is significantly reduced. Fortunately, there are several ways to heat your greenhouse without having to shell out too much cash.

Here are three easy ways to heat your greenhouse for free:

How to Heat a Hobby Greenhouse for Free in 3 Easy Ways

Tip #1. Take advantage of the sun and make sure to insulate

As mentioned, the sun is the easiest method to use – it’s a free source of energy and it’ll never fail in giving you heat. While it’s easier to rely on the sun to heat your greenhouse during summer seasons, it’s more challenging for gardeners to receive a good amount of sun during the winter season.

To make the most out of the heat from the sun during colder seasons, place your greenhouse in an unshaded area where it gets a lot of sunlight. Additionally, it’s also important to insulate your greenhouse.

It’s also a great idea to use transparent plastic to allow sunlight to go into your greenhouse while insulating it at the same time. You can insulate your office with horticultural plastics, but a common bubble wrap will do.

 

Tip #2. Add thermal mass

Adding thermal mass in your greenhouse one of the best ways to create heat without spending a fortune. Thermal mass stores heat during warm weather, and once the weather cools, the mass will slowly release the heat is stored.

Some examples of thermal mass include stones, straw, paving bricks, water barrels, and other materials dark and heavy materials that store, retain, and slowly release heat during cold weather.

Dark water barrels are effective in storing heat. When your greenhouse’s temperature drops at night, the water barrels will release the heat into your greenhouse, so your plants remain warm and toasty. Darker stones can also serve as effective natural heaters. They store up heat from the sun and release it during cold nights. To further heat your greenhouse, you can cover the ground or soil with straw to prevent heat loss.

Out of all the thermal mass options, water barrels have the highest heat capacity. For best results, you can add as many thermal mass choices in your greenhouse as you would prefer. However, make sure to consider the weather because the last thing you want is an overheated greenhouse.

 

Tip #3. Use Compost

Compost not only absorbs heat, but they also generate heat. So, what exactly is compost? It’s a mixture of organic materials – food scraps, animal products, dried leaves, etc. – that gardeners add to the soil to help your crops grow. Compost emits heat as it breaks down into the soil.

Aside from generating heat for your greenhouse, compost also enriches the soil for a healthier plant harvest. Place your compost pile in the center of your greenhouse. In this way, it heats your greenhouse from the center.

One of the disadvantages of compost is that it can smell bad (especially if you’re using animal products) and it can attract rodents. If you’re planning to use compost, make sure to use it in an enclosed greenhouse.

 

Why Use a Mini Greenhouse for Your Plants?

A mini greenhouse is perfect for homeowners and gardeners who want to grow different types of crops. If you’re still on the fence, here are some of the reasons why a mini greenhouse is a great investment:

 

Shield your plants from unwanted pests and blight

Rodents, aphids, snails, and other insects and animals would love to munch on your leaves produce. Additionally, infectious plant diseases that are affecting your neighbor’s plants can also spread to your garden. But if you place your plants inside an enclosed mini greenhouse, you’ll be able to protect them from unwanted pests, as well as plant diseases.

 

Protect your crops from bad weather

Storm, heavy rain, high winds, and excessive heat can easily destroy your plants. If you live in areas with unpredictable climates, it helps to grow your plants in a greenhouse. No matter what the weather is outside, your plants can stay warm and safe in an enclosed space.

 

Great for gardeners with limited space

If you’re into planting but you have limited space, a hobby greenhouse lets you grow almost any type of plant even without a garden. You can place your hobby greenhouse on your balcony, deck, or patio.

 

Extend the growing season

With a mini greenhouse, you can start planting your crops even before the cold season, as well as through the winter. Once the weather becomes more favorable, you can transplant your plants into your garden and harvest them earlier than you intended to.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Heat a Hobby Greenhouse for Free

Sometimes, the cost of heating a greenhouse can be overwhelming, especially during the winter season. Knowing how to heat a hobby greenhouse for free goes a long way in keeping energy costs down. Adding compost, thermal mass, and taking advantage of sunlight can help keep your plants warm regardless of the weather.

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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